New Delhi: Vaccine certificates from CoWIN will now be linked to passports for people planning international travel for education, work opportunities or as part of the Indian contingent for the Tokyo Olympics, the government announced on Monday. The new rule also provisioned for early administration of the second dose of Covishield in specific cases where the travel dates fall before the period of the 84-day gap. Also Read - International Flights Latest News: Dubai to Resume Flights From India on THIS Date

The move comes as a relief for various representations of people, like students seeking higher education abroad, facing bottlenecks in undertaking international travel. The Centre in its guidelines to states and Union Territories allowed such individuals to take their vaccine shots after completing 28 days of their first dose. Also Read - International Flights: Now Air India Express Operates First Flight Service to Dubai With Fully Vaccinated Staff

Who all are eligible to take an early second dose of vaccine?

  • Students who have to undertake foreign travel for the purposes of education.
  • Individuals taking up jobs in foreign countries.
  • Athletes, sportspersons and accompanying staff of the Indian contingent attending the International Olympic Games be held in Tokyo.

“Taking note of the several representations received by the Ministry for allowing administration of second dose of Covishield for such persons who have only taken first dose of Covishield and are seeking to undertake international travel for educational purposes or employment opportunities or as part of India’s contingent for Tokyo Olympic games, but whose planned travel dates fall prior to completion of the currently mandated minimum interval of 84 days from the date of first dose, the Ministry has written to states/UTs to facilitate vaccination of such persons,” the Health Ministry statement read. Also Read - Pregnant, Postpartum Women More Severely Affected During Second Covid Wave Than First: ICMR study

Among Indian vaccines, only Covishield has been approved under the WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL) so far.

“If passport was not used at the time of administration of first dose, the details of the photo ID Card used for vaccination will printed in the vaccination certificate and mention of the passport in the vaccination certificate is not to be insisted upon,” it said, adding that wherever necessary, the competent authority may issue another certificate linking the vaccination certificate with the passport number of the beneficiary.

The ministry said that the facility shall be available to those who need to undertake international travel for these specified purposes in the period up to August 31.